[Photo Credit to Kelly Price, MSU Athletic Media Relations]
Brandon Holloway has three nieces and enjoys being a role model to each. His relationship with them provides a glimpse of the career path he desires to travel, one that has him involved in making a difference in the lives of as many youths as possible.
He could also be a role model to anybody wanting to play college football, and especially at Starkville. The now former Mississippi State running back, receiver and kick return specialist earned enough recognition for his off-field exploits to make a resume glisten.
Among Holloway’s honors are being a four-time member of the SEC Academic Honor Roll. His work in the community with, among others, elementary school kids and the Salvation Army also earned him a spot on the SEC Football Community Service team.
“Growing up my mom definitely had a lot of passion in making sure that I had my grades together, community service and stuff like that,” said the son of Wanda and Anthony and younger brother of Brandi. “Community service and grades are a big part of it. That’s why I am here and that is to get my degree first.”
Which Holloway did as a December grad. He received his degree in human sciences and completed his final semester with 4.0 GPA. His choice of major seemed natural given he grew up lending a helping hand to those younger than him.
“I like working with youth,” he said. “I grew up working in daycare centers and things like that. I have always been close with youth and I adore my nieces, so (my major) was a great fit for me. They look up to me a lot and I like to be a good role model for them.”
The football part of Holloway’s MSU experience certainly has impact when it comes to connecting with youngsters, especially those who might want to be in his shoes someday. The game has provided a platform from which he can emphasize the “student” part of the student-athlete equation.
“You have a big impact on people especially being a football player in college,” he said. “That has given me a bigger connection with youths. That is what I definitely want to do and that’s why I went after a human sciences degree.”
Holloway also had a productive career on the field at MSU. In 2015 he ranked ninth in the SEC in all-purpose yards per game (106) and even with missing four games due to injuries this season he chipped in 687 all-purpose yards to finish his career with nearly 2,800.
“When he came here we knew he was a special guy with the ball in his hands,” said coach Dan Mullen. “He is able to play a bunch of different positions whether it be at receiver, running back or in the return game. He is a dangerous weapon because anytime the ball is in his hands something electric can happen. He has had a great career for us.”
Holloway, a Tampa native, capped his career in the maroon and white in unexpected fashion. Because of their strong Academic Progress Rate under Mullen the Bulldogs were one of three 5-7 teams invited to the postseason bash and their destination was the St. Petersburg Bowl. That meant a simple drive for his family across Tampa Bay to Tropicana Field.
During Holloway’s career the only previous game MSU had in the Sunshine State was a loss to Georgia Tech in the 2014 Orange Bowl. This time around the Bulldogs emerged as a 17-16 victor over Miami (Ohio).
“I was pretty excited when I found out,” he said of the bowl invite. “A kid I grew up with found out before I did and sent me a text. We played in Florida in a bowl game before, but I had not had the chance to play (near) my home town. It was pretty fun.”
Holloway would like to prolong his football career and will soon commence preparing for MSU’s pro day and take his chances from there. As far as his college career, whenever he does take the time to reflect on it he will see that the grind more than paid off.
“There were a lot of hard and tough days, but it was a lot of fun,” he said. “Being an athlete in college you have a lot of days in which you could just lay down and get some more sleep. But the tough days, those are the days that you will look back on and laugh at. You will talk about how you thought you would never make it through.”
Brandon Holloway made it through just fine.